The Holistic View of a Career as a Massage Therapist

There are many names given to massage therapists: bodywork therapist, certified massage therapist, clinical massage therapist, licensed massage practitioner, but for this article, we will call them licensed massage therapists (LMT). 

Does a career in massage therapy have a bright outlook?

As more and more spas and massage service chains take up real estate in the commercial landscape, they are projected to create 23,300 job openings for licensed massage therapists (LMT) every year. In addition, employment opportunities are projected to grow by 32 percent (much faster than average) between 2020 and 2030. As a result, it is expected that many will seek to begin a career as a massage therapist. 

How much does a massage therapist earn on average?

Yes, massage therapists are paid well, earning 43,620 on average compared to the total average of all occupations, which sits at 41,950. 

How does the typical schedule of a massage therapist look?

Although the work schedule is flexible, the total amount of hours vary considerably from week to week. LMTs cannot work a regular 8 hour day, 5 times per week, due to the strength and endurance needed to give a massage. 

The hours are spread out since this job can be very physically taxing, leading to repetitive-motion problems and fatigue from standing for long periods.

Where does a massage therapist usually work?

This answer is a bit intricate. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of labor statistics:

  • 38% are self-employed workers (this is an excellent career for entrepreneurs)
  • 31% work in personal care services
  • 11% work in offices of all other healthcare practitioners.
  • 8% work in chiropractic offices.
  • 5% work as an in-home massage therapist. (This means therapist drives to homes or places of business nearby)

But to be more specific, work settings include: the therapist owns office or treatment room, the client's home, an established massage office, a wellness or health clinic, a chiropractic or physical therapist medical clinic, health or fitness center, gym, a spa, salon, or hotel, a hospital or even corporate offices. 

Here the simple answers end, and the straight talk begins. 

What is a massage therapist? 

The definition of a massage therapist is in the name - therapeutic massage, not a masseuse. (insert happy ending joke here) All kidding aside, be prepared for happy ending jokes. 

This is a grave distinction that some clients don't understand. But don't sweat it; most people understand the difference. 

What is the difference?

  • A therapist has patients, not clients.
  • They provide health care, not a service.
  • They help patients become self-reliant and don't manipulate them into memberships.
  • Therapists offer manual therapy, exercise therapy and are subject matter experts on soft tissue. 
  • Therapists call their working surfaces a massage table and not a massage bed. Only one of those two is for working. 

Who should become a massage therapist? 

A good massage therapist should have a sincere interest in their patient's health and well-being. 

Any therapist should be punctual, dependable, flexible, honest, and dedicated to their patients. 

A good therapist usually enjoys helping people, teaching, and explaining. 

The best therapists have integrity, self-control, are cooperative, and work well with little supervision.

Here is a list of abilities they should possess:

  • Able to communicate effectively.
  • Be able to keep your arms and hands steady.
  • Exercise for a long time without being out of breath.
  • Able to stand for a long time.

Why become a massage therapist?

The finding of a recent survey reveals that 88% of massage therapists reported feeling satisfied with their careers.

The same study states that the overwhelming majority of massage therapists believe their work makes a difference. 

Are you interested in exploring a career as a massage therapist? Contact our admissions director Anthony Massaro with questions at info@mipb.us or call him at +1 561 - 964 - 5148.

Blog Post written by:
Mariem Perez
Massage Therapy Instructor